ANCHOR LEAD: HOW YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR COLONSCOPY IS IMPORTANT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People who are having colonoscopy for colon cancer screening or other reasons may be putting their kidneys at risk with one type of agent used to clean out the bowel. Those preparations taken by mouth and containing sodium phosphate may compromise kidney function for months or even cause kidney failure. Patrick Okolo, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins, explains.
OKOLO: This has to do with what we call electrolyte purgatives, and in patients with poor kidney reserve, and this includes most of us as we get older because our kidneys get a little less functional, regardless of how good the test numbers are, just simply by aging. And so sometimes these electrolyte purgatives deliver just too much of a load for the kidney and causes a lot of electrolyte problems. These problems are sometimes not easily predictable. :26
Okolo says other effective agents exist and should be used. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.